As you know, we have started introducing you to our favorite traveling couples and decided to make this a series. Next up in our spotlight are Aimee and Paul of the blog “Snap Happy Travel”: an Irish girl and an English guy with a passion for backpacking and each other.
Paul & Aimee: the European backpackers
What I love the most about travel (and love) stories, is that they constantly remind me of how random and beautiful moments very often happen. Take Aimee, for instance. A travel-obsessed Irish girl. She met Paul at a bus stop in Australia, a few years back, and they’ve been traveling the world together ever since. “Every journey has to start somewhere and ours started in April 2014 in Sydney”, she recalls. “Paul’s Australian work visa was coming to an end and we decided to backpack across the world.”
They first traveled to South East Asia, before heading to Malta. During their trip, they started thinking about creating a blog to document their journey. “It had been in the back of my mind for a very long time but I guess I was afraid to start out of fear of failure” says Aimee. “I studied Journalism at University of Limerick and worked at an internship for a local newspaper back in Ireland, and so writing has always been a huge passion of mine. Thankfully I plucked up the courage to start Snap Happy Travel and now we have our own little slice of the internet where we can share our travel tips and photographs with friends, family and even a couple of strangers.”
When I ask them what the best place they’ve visited so far is, they answer: “Cinque Terre, Italy. It literally means “five villages”, and Italians often refer to it as the Italian Riviera. If you want to eat the freshest seafood in the world, take in postcard-perfect views and experience the warmth and friendliness of small town Italy then we massively recommend Cinque Terre. We also love Lake Bacalar, in Mexico. Between Belize and Tulum; it’s known as the lake of seven colors to locals. And if it had to be a top three, we’d also choose Hoi An, in Vietnam. A UNESCO world heritage site that is both incredibly beautiful & unforgettable.”
And what about your best travel memory, I ask? “A bungee jump in Cairns, Australia. Amazing but terrifying at the same time” says Aimee. “And a tour of the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Caves in San Ignacio Belize. A 7km cave system that was used as a Mayan burial site, it’s filled with swimming pool-deep water and is incredibly dark so you have to wear a headlamp at all times. There are different chambers inside with skulls and bones and old Mayan artifacts scattered everywhere” adds Paul.
But traveling together is not only beautiful memories. “It’s also packed, sweaty and sticky bus journeys that took hours more than expected, having to use squat toilets, and food poisoning. It’s inevitable“, explains Aimee. So, what advice would they give to other couples to survive such experiences? “You are literally spending every hour of every day with this person, so make sure you actually get on well, like really well”, they answer before giving a few pieces of advice. “We nearly killed each other at times, but the argument was usually over after a few minutes and we never went to sleep angry. You have to learn to compromise – if one of you wants to have Italian for dinner and the other Mexican (this was the cause of most of our arguments FYI), go for one tonight and the other tomorrow. If one of you wants to lie on the beach all day and the other wants to explore the city nearby, maybe you can go your separate ways for a few hours. These are all just things that worked for us, but we’re no experts, although we did travel together for a year non-stop without splitting up. Take the time to find your ‘couple travel’ groove together!“
Now, Aimee works for a luxury hotel in Canada. “It’s awesome as I get massive discounts on their properties all over the world. But while we are both very excited for the ski season to start here, we are also busy planning a move away this summer – ideally to Bermuda or Barbados”, she says.
Now, that’s what I call living the good life! If you want to know more about Paul & Aimee’s adventures, make sure to check their facebook, twitter and instagram!